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The ASUS ROG Mothership is a giant detachable gaming notebook

By Kenny Yeo - on 12 Jan 2019, 10:15am

The ASUS ROG Mothership is a giant detachable gaming notebook

The ASUS ROG Mothership

I know CES 2019 has barely begun but there is a good chance that the new ASUS ROG Mothership gaming notebook will be the most outrageous one we will see at the show.

At its heart, it's a complete rethink of what a gaming notebook should be. And so in place of a traditional clamshell design, it has a detachable keyboard and was designed more like a detachable notebook.

According to their research, ASUS found that many owners of desktop replacement notebooks often use external keyboard and mouse. As a result, a detachable keyboard makes better sense since it gives users the flexibility to place their keyboard and mouse in their preferred position.

With the keyboard attached at an angle.

The keyboard can also be attached to the bottom of the display at an angle, not unlike the Surface Pro.

Unlike most desktop replacement systems where the components are in the keyboard base, the ROG Mothership's key components are behind the display - like an AIO.

The upright nature of the display means more air can be drawn into system and as we all know: more air = better cooling = greater performance.

The chassis has been designed to draw as much air in as possible.

The display measures 17.3 inches and has Full-HD resolution. It is an IPS panel that supports G-Sync and has a refresh rate of 144Hz. Response time is rated at 3ms and the display supports 100% of the sRGB color space.

A hinged stepless kickstand is integrated into the display and it deploys automatically when the notebook is placed on a surface. The entire system, including the keyboard, is machined from solid slabs of aluminum. The ROG Mothership is 29.9mm thick and weighs about 4.7kg.

Inside, the ROG Mothership is powered by the latest and greatest. We have the following:

  • factory overclocked Intel Core i8-8950HK processor
  • factory-overclocked NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM
  • 64GB of DDR4 2666MHz memory
  • 3 x M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 512GB SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration.

Note that both the CPU and GPU are factory overclocked right out of the box.

The keyboard detaches for greater flexibility in placement.

Connectivity is cutting-edge too. The ROG Mothership with support Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and speeds of up to 2.4Gbps if you have a compatible Wi-Fi 6 router.

In terms of physical ports, you have the following:

  • 1 x USB-C Thunderbolt 3
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 USB-C
  • 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 USB-A
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 USB-A
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x 3.5mm headphone/micro combo jack
  • 1 x 3.5mm microphone jack
  • 1 x Ethernet port
  • 1 x SD card reader

Built into the ROG Mothership are also four 4W speakers that feature smart-amplifier technology that monitors temperatures and driver excursion to reduce distortion and improve output, bass, and greater dynamic range. There's also a built-in ESS Sabre DAC and headphone amplifier that supports PCM files up to 24 bit and 192kHz.

No word yet on availability and pricing but don't expect it to be cheap.